Friday, May 22, 2015

Truffled white bean puree

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Photo: Lynne Hemer, Cook and Be Merry

I'm often in need of a quick, elegant hors d'oeuvre to keep guests busy and on the other side of the counter while I'm finishing dinner preparations in the kitchen.

I like this truffled white bean puree because it's simple, I can make it ahead, and it's an unusual combination that raises the eyebrows a bit.

You could serve it with crackers or toasted pita bread triangles, but I love making tiny cups out of cucumbers. Buy small Persian cucumbers - the ones with the thin skin you don't have to peel - and hollow out a little divot with a melon baller. You can make these a few hours ahead and store them in the refrigerator in a zip-top bag, between layers of damp paper towels.

If you can't get your hands on a fresh truffle to grate on top (or the budget doesn't allow it), buy a tiny jar of truffle salt and use that instead. You'll get the same flavor, although not the same visual.

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Truffled White Bean Puree
This appetizer couldn't be easier: White beans pureed with lemon and truffle oil. Serve in tiny cucumber cups or with crackers.
  • 1 15-ounce can white cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 Persian cucumbers
  • 1 black truffle, fresh or canned
Make the bean puree: Put the beans, lemon juice, lemon zest, and truffle oil into the bowl of a food processor. Process until very smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to let the flavors blend. (Can be made 1 day ahead; store covered and refrigerated.)Make the cucumber cups: Wash and thoroughly dry the cucumbers. Cut off the ends, then slice the cucumbers into 1-inch rounds. Using a small melon baller or the tip of a very small spoon, hollow out one side of each cucumber slice, being careful not to cut all the way through. You'll end up with a fingertip-sized depression in each slice.Transfer the bean puree into a piping bag, or use a zip-top bag with the corner snipped off. Pipe a swirl of the truffled bean puree into each cucumber cup. Grate a little of the truffle on top of each piece. Serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10 servings